Ospreys players took time out from their preparations for Sunday's crucial Heineken Cup tie against London Irish at the Madejski Stadium in Reading to team up with The Joshua Foundation on Tuesday morning for a special visit to University Hospital of Wales Children's Hospital in Cardiff.
Led by skipper Alun Wyn Jones, a host of familiar faces made the visit, bringing some much needed New Year cheer to the young patients and their families, after the planned visits pre-Christmas fell foul of the wintry weather.
Among the players who toured the ward were Mike Phillips, Lee Byrne, Paul James, Adam Jones, Tommy Bowe, Richard Hibbard and Jerry Collins.
Alun Wyn Jones said:
“The visit was a huge success, and a pretty humbling experience for us all. The whole squad always enjoys meeting some of our younger fans. Hospital visits like this always go down well with the players and supporters alike, as they allow us to really brighten up the children’s day, which can be incredibly satisfying for everyone.
“We all realise that the least we can do in our privileged position is to give up some of our spare time to help to put a smile on the face of a sick or injured child.”
Managing Director, Roger Blyth, added:
“It always gives us great satisfaction to be able make these visits and I know that there are a number of children and young adults whose unfortunate stay in hospital will have been made just a little more bearable by the visit. They will be able to show all their friends the pictures of the day, which I’m sure they will cherish.”
The Joshua Foundation is the chosen charity of the Ospreys for the 2010/11 season, with a new limited edition charity jersey being worn throughout this season’s LV= Cup campaign, with a donation from each one sold going to Welsh charity The Joshua Foundation.
The season-long relationship between the region and the charity aims to provide experiences for children with terminal cancer and their families. In addition to the jersey, the Ospreys will also work with the Joshua Foundation in a number of ways between now and the end of the season, including collections at two homes matches, while the Ospreys will also host or attend a number of specially organised events in conjunction with the Joshua Foundation, with the aim of providing special experiences for a number of Welsh children. There will also be opportunities for the charity to access match tickets and for children to be match day mascots.